JAMIE Perkin recognises the importance of Oxford’s clash at basement side Thame Town, but does not want to turn it into a pressure match.

Division 1’s bottom two clubs face-off at Church Meadow tomorrow, with 12 points separating the sides.

Oxford ended a three-match winless run in the Home Counties Premier League when grinding out a draw against Banbury.

Perkin is hoping his side can build on the result.

He said: “We stopped the rot.

“We still know we’re in the same position where one or two wins could pull us away and give us a bit of daylight.

“There’s no better week to do that than against the team at the bottom.

“But they’re dangerous and we’re going to have to play well to beat them.

“It’s an important game, but I don’t want to put pressure on the guys.”

Spinner Harvey Eltham looks to be out for the season with a knee injury.

Connor Kilpatrick and Owyn Tong-Jones are added to the squad, with Shami Mendis unavailable.

Thame skipper Michael Beard is hopeful of a quick reaction after a ten-wicket defeat to Aston Rowant.

They slumped to 59 all out on route to suffering a sixth successive loss.

Thame welcome Richard Straughan and Mike Higgs into the squad and Beard is eyeing a crucial victory.

He said: “It’s a big game, we back ourselves at home, and they are struggling a bit as well.

“The key will be to start well.”

Wes Morrick has been praised for his part in Aston Rowant’s strong form.

The side sit second, just a point behind leaders Tring Park, ahead of their short trip to Horspath.

Morrick has taken 17 wickets, including 5-20 in Rowant’s victory over Thame last week.

Batsman Chris Watling is hoping the 37-year-old can continue in the same vein.

He said: “Wes is like a fine wine, he gets better with age.

“He’s been awesome for us and he is getting good back-up from the other bowlers as well – they’re all putting a good shift in.”

Rowant make one change, with Will Pendered replacing Ben Knowler.

Horspath skipper Will Eason was enthused by the way his side earned a draw at High Wycombe and is hoping to get the better of Rowant.

But they are forced into four changes, with Will Hawtin, Lloyd Belcher, Tom Coleman (all holiday) and Tom Cosford (unavailable) missing.

Robbie Eason, Tom Beresford, Jehan Mohammed and Shahbaz Ali all come in.

Will said: “It’s going to be a difficult game.

“We’ve had some good battles over recent years and I’m expecting the same.”

Lloyd Sabin is backing his Banbury side to continue their good form at home to Finchampstead.

The north Oxfordshire outfit, who name an unchanged side, are bidding for a fifth victory.

Sabin said: “It would have been nice to have taken more points against Oxford.

“But we performed well and we’ll take that into Saturday.”

Anupam Sanklecha says his Shipton-under-Wychwood side head into tomorrow’s derby clash at home to third-placed Great & Little Tew with renewed confidence.

Division 2’s basement boys earned a thrilling tie against Dinton last week, having scored 193 – their highest total of the season.

They were still on the brink of an eighth successive defeat but with the scores level, Shipton skipper Sanklecha took the tenth wicket.

The all-rounder believes his side head into the clash against Tew, whom they beat in the Chadlington Brewery Oxfordshire T20 competition a few weeks ago, with more confidence.

Sanklecha said: “It was good for morale, but at one point I thought we would win the game easily.

“And then in the last over it was looking like we would lose, so I was quite happy to take that wicket and it was better to have some points.

“We were lacking in batting, so we put some runs on the board. It’s good for our team that we know we can do that.

“We beat Tew in the T20, so we will take positives from that and we have nothing to lose.”

Craig Wood is unavailable, but Shipton add Callum Taylor and Ian Harris to their squad.

Tew head into the encounter without two of their form players in Robbie Shurmer and Lloyd Brock, who have taken 20 wickets between them.

Joe Hirst and Richard Churchill have been called up from the second XI.

Captain Harry Smith, whose side suffered their second defeat of the campaign six days ago, is confident Tew will have enough to get the better of Shipton.

He said: “We’ll be confident of beating them.

“They’ve been struggling, but they’ve still got a couple of good players.

“If you look at the table, hopefully we’ll get the victory.

“Hopefully the players we’ve got for Saturday will perform.

“We’ll have to play well to win. It should be a good game ­– it normally is.”


Oxford (v Thame Tn, away): from Dickinson, Nutt, Samiullah, Ayub, Perkin, Crosby, Murphy, Simon, Keat, Humphreys, Kilpatrick, Tong-Jones.

Thame Tn (v Oxford, home): from Beard, Neilson, W Sutcliffe, Kanishka, Adams, Jeffcock, Mushtaq, O Sutcliffe, C Russell, Khan, A Russell, Straughan, Higgs.

Aston Rowant (v Horspath, away): Tolson, Matthews, Condon, Smith, Watling, Morrick, Moriarty, Bethell, Whatman, Harris, Pendered.

Horspath (v Aston Rowant, home): Fitzjohn, Brown, Green, Robertson, W Eason, Faruk, Manley, R Eason, Beresford, Mohammed, Ali.

Banbury (v Finchamptead, home): Sabin, Haupt, Clarke, Adams, West, Hill, Beer, Green, Wright, Taylor, Rana.

Shipton-under-Wychwood (v Great & Little Tew, home): from Norgrove, Jarvis, C Miller, Sanklecha, Morris, Senior, Hunt, Davies, S Harris, Rehman, C Taylor, I Harris.

Great & Little Tew (v Shipton-under-Wychwood, away): Smith, Catling, Wyatt, White, Slatter, J Churchill, Thomas, Lawrence Brock, Bryan, Hirst, R Churchill.